PC/Mac/Linux
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Game Info:

Fictorum
Developed by: Scraping Bottom Games
Published by: Scraping Bottom Games
Release date: August 9, 2017
Available on: Windows
Genre: RPG
Number of players: Single-player
ESRB Rating: Not rated
Price: $19.99
(Humble Store Link)

Thank you Scraping Bottom Games for sending us a review code!

Fictorum was successfully Kickstarted in July of 2016 raising almost $30,000 from their $25,000 goal. Early backers of the game were able to get it for $15, which is five dollars less than the current retail price. The reviews on Steam are mixed, as are my feelings with this game.

All of the deliverables from the Kickstarter campaign are in place. You’re an all powerful mage who can customize magic spells and destroy anything in your path. Call forth meteors, fire, ice, lightning, and destroy to your heart’s content. I thought blasting apart houses was cool with fireball and ice spear spells, then I discovered the meteor spell and fell in love with magic. Whenever it comes to RPGs I tend to play as a strong sword or axe wielding warrior. Tank characters often steal the glory as they battle monsters face to face while mages hurl spells in the distance. Fictorum puts magic use front and center and the only way to use a sword in this game is to summon one if you have the scroll to do so. But why use a sword when you can wield lightning Emperor Palpatine style or throw fireballs?

When you launch the game, you’ll get to choose your mage type and difficulty level. I’ve never heard of a Reese difficulty level before, but that’s the easiest level. After that difficulty level there’s easy, hard, and nightmare; a hardcore mode is also available. I first started as a fire mage, but was also able to use ice spells as I found them throughout the game. Other starting titles/types become unlocked as you complete the game. There are Steam achievements for unlocking new titles and beating the game on various difficulty levels.

Fictorum
Highlights:

Strong Points: All of the joys of being a powerful mage without the grinding
Weak Points: Graphics are a mixed bag; repetitive missions
Moral Warnings: Magic use; violence; revenge 

Currently there are eight chapters in the game, but more are coming an in a future patch. The developers have been very active on the Steam forums and on Reddit. They continue to make improvements to the game. I look forward to future updates as it currently is still rough around the edges.

The concept is great and destroying things is very fun. I also like the randomly generated world maps/chapters. Each place you visit adds to your character’s backstory of revenge against the Grand Inquisitor who is hunting him down to execute him properly. The sense of urgency is real as the inquisitors gain territory with each place you visit or move you make. I learned the hard way to avoid visiting a contested area early on in the game as my butt was handed to me rather quickly.

When visiting an area you’ll be given a bit of a story and often an opportunity to embark upon a quest to help the locals. You can ignore their pleas for help or assist them for some nice loot. Sadly, many of the backstories/missions are repeated and I once had four of the same quests in a row. When embarking on a mission, you will have to take out the hostiles quickly as they will swarm and do a lot of damage in groups. Some spells are great for long range attacks while others can blast nearby targets. I liked using the stone summoning spell for bringing up a defensive wall for cover. Some missions require taking out certain human or building targets to complete them. No matter your goal, in order to return to the world map, you’ll have to re-open the Nexus in town. There are beams of light closing it off and you have to destroy the towers emitting those beams of light to unlock the Nexus.

Though your character’s mana and stamina bars regenerate, his health does not. In order to heal, your character can rest on the map and give the inquisitors more time to catch up to him, stop at a store and pay for healing, or loot houses in town in hopes of finding some healing potions to drink. I wish healing spells existed in this game.

Fictorum
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 76%
Gameplay - 16/20
Graphics - 6/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 4/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 77%
Violence - 6/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 5/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 7.5/10

Looting houses is a great way to find better armor, rings, and spells to use. Each item can be enchanted to make it more powerful. The spell customization and runes are worth tinkering with until you’re happy with the outcome. By switching out runes you can adjust your spell’s radius, damage, distance and mana consumption. Essence is used as currency for buying and enchanting items and it’s earned by selling items and destroying buildings.

Blowing stuff is up is fun and somehow refreshing in this game. When using the meteor spell it’s glorious. Some stuff looks great going down and other items, not so much. Trees will absorb into the ground instead of breaking apart into millions of splinters. Graphically, this game is rather hit or miss. The houses are nicely detailed, but some of them have trees in them or I have seen shrubs floating in the air. Most of the enemies are nicely animated while others seems to be gliding around instead of walking or running. The backdrops are not very detailed and the Unreal Engine isn’t being fully utilized here.

With the latest 1.06 patch, the soundtrack was made available for purchase. The background music is good and I like how it intensifies when enemies have spotted you. The sound effects are good too.

Overall, Fictorum is a fun game that celebrates mage characters and revenge. If you’re okay with the moral issues, there’s a lot of fun to be had here. There’s also a lot of repetition and some glitches to contend with as well. The developers have been very responsive and I’m sure that this game will get even better in time. Until then, I recommend keeping an eye on a good sale or update before picking it up.

 

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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